Let me convince you…

To try a fresh fig, if you haven’t ever.  It’s not too late to add a bit of figs to your order!

Fig season is at the top of my list in terms of produce–there’s a three-way tie for me between peach season, blueberry season, and fig season.  It’s difficult because they all overlap!!  There is a lot of fruit consumption that needs to happen in a short amount of time.

First, a primer on figs and then some photos:

  • Fresh figs are NOTHING like what you taste in a fig newton cookie.  I don’t enjoy those very much.  I do enjoy fresh figs.
  • They do not have a long shelf-life, even in the refrigerator–a few days after picking is their limit.  I imagine that’s why they aren’t often found in grocery stores.  But once you taste a fig, having to consume them quickly will not be an issue.
  • They are one of the first cultivated plants.
  • They have a lot of calcium!  3.5 oz = 16% of the RDV of calcium!
  • Figs aren’t actually a fruit–they are the plant’s flower.  Amazing, no?
  • Figs are an excellent laxative.

There are tons of ways to eat figs.  They are delicious when paired with a bit of cheese, such as brie or goat cheese.  There are many summer recipes that include the use of figs.  I prefer to just eat them.  It’s very simple–just hold the stem and if it’s small enough, pop the whole thing into your mouth and bite it off just before the stem.  Today I simply added what I had left to a fruit salad that we ate for breakfast (see below).

I don’t remember the first time that I had a fresh fig…but it was definitely sometime in college.  It wasn’t until the summer after my first year of teaching that I realized how much I LOVED figs.  I found myself in the midst of an epicurean seduction in a market in Tunis.  The vendor was romancing me with his selection of fruits and vegetables, many not abundantly available here.  His figs were pristine–the large, delicious purple variety that I haven’t seen locally in VA.  My travel-mate, in the midst of placing our order, asked how much we should get and I just said… “2”.  Thinking….2 pounds.  But we ended up with about 2.5 kilos (5.5 pounds!!!!!).  As mentioned earlier, figs turn very quickly… and so I did my best to eat as much of that 5.5 pounds of figs in the next three days as possible.  I ate figs at every meal.  And for every snack.  It’s really a testament to the deliciousness of figs that I can still say that I adore them!!  Also…I credit that volume of figs with the fact that despite eating street food and shawarma for days, my digestive health was excellent.  🙂

So!  Try some figs!  And if you hate them…I am happy to pick up your leftovers from your house 🙂  But I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

figs and blueberries

Aren't these two fruits beautiful together?


The figs we have locally are usually purple/red/greenish and are smaller than Mediterranean figs, but no less delicious.

finished salad

This was the end result--figs, blueberries, PEACHES!! and a mango (I cheated a little there on the local food...)


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